Maryland’s Personal Freedoms In Trouble

Despite having many good qualities, like kick-ass crabs and Cal Ripkin, Maryland is ranked as the worst state in the country for personal freedoms (which is disappointing on a personal note since it’s my home state).

Two recent cases have brought to light some troubling instances of abuse of power. In one, Anthony Graber has been charged with a felony for recording a traffic incident where he was stopped for speeding and hot-dogging on his motorcycle. In the video (above), the plainclothes Maryland State Trooper exits his unmarked vehicle and draws his gun on Graber. Assumedly State Attorney of Harford County Joseph Cassilly didn’t like the public embarrassment, so he cooked up some charges that Graber was in violation of a wiretap law. Take away Graber’s reckless behavior, and…wow.

The second incident involves footage of three Prince George’s County police beating University of Maryland student John McKenna during a celebration after the Terrapins basketball win in March. When attorneys for McKenna (and his friend Benjamin Donat, who was also involved) subpoenaed footage from campus cameras and reviewed it, a crucial 90 minutes was missing. Minutes, mind you, that another student’s recording showed the students in question did not assault the officers or their horses.

And here’s the kicker, from the Washington Post:

The university police lieutenant in charge of copying the videos, Joanne Ardovini, is married to John Ardovini, one of the officers on horseback said to have been assaulted by McKenna and Donat.

Articles from ABC 2, Cato@LibertyWashington Post and ABC 7 News (& thanks to Dave)

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